June 1, 2021
What Lexie Brown brings to Chicago
Lexie with the Sky and Diamond (DeShields)
Welcome to The Next: A basketball newsroom brought to you by The IX. 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage, written, edited and photographed by our young, diverse staff, dedicated to breaking news, analysis, historical deep dives and projections about the game we love.
Subscribe to make sure this vital work, creating a pipeline of young, diverse media professionals to write, edit and photograph the great game, continues and grows. Paid subscriptions include some exclusive content, but the reason for subscriptions is a simple one: making sure our writers and editors creating 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage get paid to do it.
19 days after being cut by Chicago, Lexie Brown is back with the Sky.
Originally reported by Annie Costabile of the Chicago Sun-Times, Brown is re-signing with Chicago, since confirmed by a league source to The Next. Rachel Galligan reports it is a hardship signing. Brown previously had signed with the team on a training camp deal, but was cut on May 13.
The Sky have needed help from someone like Brown. The team currently ranks second-to-last in offensive rating, per HerHoopStats, to go along with the second-lowest three-point rate in the league, and have lost four straight games by a combined 33 points. They are also last in the WNBA in turnover percentage.
In Chicago’s last two losses, both to Los Angeles, the Sparks were happy to clog the paint and dare the Sky to beat them from outside, and frequently took advantage of their lackadaisical weakside perimeter defense.
Brown should help mitigate both those concerns. Offensively, the shooting guard has shot 34.7% from three on three attempts per game in her 72-game WNBA career, and has shot 37.4% on 665 three-point attempts since 2016 (her first year at Duke). Defensively, she’s one of the better off-ball perimeter defenders in the league, and generally a very good point-of-attack defender against guards. She also led the WNBA in steal percentage in 2020.
Brown should slot in as the second or third guard off the bench, competing with rookies point guard Shyla Heal and shooting guard Stephanie Watts for those bench backcourt minutes.
For Chicago, this puts the roster at 12 players. (Watts was reportedly cut this week, but those reports turned out to be false.) With Candace Parker and Allie Quigley still on the injury report and Stefanie Dolson yet to return from the 3×3 Olympic qualifier, the Sky have nine players available for tonight’s game against the Mercury.